I can't quite bring myself to affix an exclamation point to the title of this post as I have the previous three "milestone" posts. This is not a birthday or anniversary, but the 40th day after Gabriel's birth.
When a living baby is born he or she is churched along with his or her mother on the 40th day. Generally this is in conjunction with the baptism. After someone dies, memorial services are celebrated on the 3rd day (this is usually the burial), 6th day, 9th day and 40th day after the death. Technically Gabriel's 40th day would be the 40th day after his death, not birth, but I spent 19 of those days waiting for him to be born after he died. I just wasn't ready yet. Since the Church doesn't really have much to say about memorial services for unborn and unbaptized infants, I felt able to claim today as the 40th day.
There is a long history of the 40 day period in the Church and before it. Just looking at the life of Christ we can see this: He was presented in the temple 40 days after His birth (the Meeting of Christ, February 2), He fasted in the wilderness for 40 days, He was on earth 40 days after His death and resurrection before ascending into heaven (Holy Ascension).
Gabriel was just a tiny baby, only 11 weeks gestation. He was only seen by a few people, only known to a few more. But he mattered. My sweet baby.